Skip to All NYU Navigation Skip to Main Content

Meet the Class of 2013, Five Years Later

June 15, 2018

<< Back

It’s been five years since graduation, but these alumni have kept their NYU roots and #VioletPride going strong. We met them as they became NYU alumni in 2013, checked in again in 2014, and now five years later, see what NYU’s Class of 2013 alumni have accomplished, where they’ve been, and what’s next.

Stephanie Plachy (STEINHARDT ’13, ’17)

Stephanie Plachy

Stephanie graduated from the English education program in Steinhardt’s department of teaching and learning in 2013. Shortly after graduation, she pursued her passion of teaching middle schoolers in Brooklyn. Five years later, she has returned, graduated with her masters, and even began teaching other educators at Steinhardt.

Back in 2014, you were living in Queens and had just finished your first year of teaching middle school. Are you still based in New York City?

I am happily still in New York City. I actually went back to Steinhardt for my Masters in Literacy Education and graduated in May 2017.

Are you still a middle school teacher? How do you like it?

I am still teaching in the New York City public schools and am working in my second school now, where I've been for the last three years. I absolutely love teaching, and wouldn't want to be doing it anywhere else. I especially love teaching sixth grade English Language Arts because I get to support my students as they transition to middle school, which requires a lot of hand-holding and community building.

What has been your greatest accomplishment since graduation?

My biggest accomplishment is probably the opportunity to take on leadership roles over the last year. In the fall, I taught my first course in Steinhardt's Literacy program and I plan to teach it again this fall. The course is about teaching writing, and I've loved having the opportunity to teach adults for the first time and use my classroom experience to work with other teachers.

Have things turned out differently than you expected five years ago at graduation?

When I graduated, I was so nervous about getting a job that I took the first one that was offered to me. I wish I had known that it's okay to be a little bit selective because the first school where I worked was really challenging. I think I expected to stay in the same school for five years. In retrospect, I'm definitely a better teacher because of it, but those first two years were a struggle. I'm happy to be in a school now where I feel appreciated and supported, and I can continue to take on leadership roles.

Eric Herbst (GAL ’13)

Eric Herbst

Eric concentrated in entertainment and business at Gallatin before moving to Miami shortly after graduation to be a producer at Fusion. Still producing, he’s back in New York now with a new, exciting job in the hospitality industry.  

Last time we checked in, you had recently moved to Miami. Are you still there?

I relocated back to NYC in January 2017. Miami is an amazing city—I moved there shortly after graduation to be a producer at Fusion, but I missed New York! It’s nice being back in the orbit of the city’s excitement, surrounded by college friends and family.

Are you still working at Fusion? What do you do now?

I was a producer at Fusion for three and a half years. After covering the 2016 presidential election, I wanted to do something beyond politics. I’m currently a video and events producer in the hospitality industry. I host events for prestigious presidents and CEOs of major public and emerging restaurant and lifestyle brands. I also travel around the country producing video profiles on industry entrepreneurs. In addition to all of that, having a voice around company-wide business decisions has been an invaluable experience.

Have things turned out differently than you expected five years ago at graduation?

I didn’t know what to expect! I thought I would be in Miami for one year, and that turned into more than three years. I learned quickly that I should set goals for myself, but also go with the flow and experience various opportunities. In hindsight, I'm fortunate to have already been exposed to both corporate and entrepreneurial environments.

Did you learn anything at NYU that you still find useful today?

Be fearless, keep in touch with former alumni, and stay humble. I also learned that it's important to be open to all opportunities at every juncture.

Emily Soukas (CAS ’13)

A dramatic literature major from CAS with a minor in public policy and management and a certificate in fundraising, five years ago Emily told us she was interested in using management to create innovative, efficient, and effective systems. Applying her knowledge and talent to UrbanSpace, her first job out of college, Emily managed to do that and much more.

Do you still work at UrbanSpace? What do you do now?

I am still with Urbanspace! I took a short hiatus in 2017 to work for City Council in the Office of General Council passing the 2018 City Budget, but have been back since August 2017. I am now a market director and run our kiosk program TSQ MKT in Times Square. We have ten food and retail kiosks on the Broadway Plazas in Times Square that I manage in partnership with the Times Square Alliance. I also put on a holiday market called GIFTED last holiday season.

Have things turned out differently than you expected five years ago at graduation?

Never in a million years did I think I would manage to find a niche that fits me so well. While it can be complicated to explain to someone what I do, I feel very lucky to have found a way to be in the hospitality/food and beverage industry, and real estate industry, and urban planning/public space industry, and small business development industry!

What has been your greatest accomplishment since graduation?

Building Urbanspace Vanderbilt, our original food hall on 45th and Vanderbilt. This is now the model for the company's expansion and has earned Urbanspace international recognition as a leader in the markets space. I am incredibly proud of how the space came together and how the community around it has grown since.

Did you learn anything at NYU that you still find useful today?

The best, and most challenging, part of my job is working with so many amazing small entrepreneurs and community partners. Sometimes a vendor's goal might be different than a community partner's goal, so a lot of my job is figuring out how to marry everyone's goals and maximize happiness. My training as a resident assistant enabled me to be a true listener, mediator, and problem solver in these situations, which has proven invaluable.